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The Architectural Assessment Tool - enhanced (AATe)

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Disclaimer: This material is being kept online for historical purposes. The model, simulation or tool described is no longer maintained. It is no longer available on request, and/or may not function on current computer systems.

 

2003

The Architectural Assessment Tool - enhanced (AATe).

 

The AATe is an MS Excel based application with a relatively simple graphic user interface for a cost or operations analyst to define the design of each stage of a reusable launch system. The AATe works ideally for reusable booster definition at a conceptual level. Results are best used relatively, such as relative to Shuttle or relative to other concepts assessed with the tool. However, absolute values may be used as rough-order-of-magnitude (ROM) estimates in the cost analysis of recurring ground systems effort.

 

Inputs:

The AATe requires at least 29 inputs per element (an element is usually akin to a stage, but with some more flexibility in definition). For increased fidelity 62 inputs can be defined. Example Input Types are:

  • Degree of Sub-systems Integration

  • Number of Toxic Fluids

  • Reliability, Loss of Vehicle

  • Payload per Flight

  • Scale of the concept (length, width, etc).

  • Margin

Outputs:

  • Recurring Yearly Operations Costs

    • Operations Fixed Costs (yearly)

    • Operations Variable Costs (per flight)

  • Cycle Times for Landing, Turnaround, Integration and Launch processes (calendar days)

    • Fleet size required to achieve a flight rate per year

  • Non-Recurring Operations Costs

    • The AATe includes elements of a previous rough-order-of-magnitude "FACGSE" Facility and Ground Support Equipment (GSE) spreadsheet calculator. With this a user can gain insight into historical data and analogous:

      • Facility and Ground Support Equipment (GSE) Acquisition costs

      • Facility and GSE requirement (numbers of major facilities) required to achieve a flight rate per year

Application:

In using any model to contribute significantly or even partially to an important decision, users should be aware of the limitations of the model. Users should be aware that the AATe:

  • Emphasizes reusable vehicle design complexity and it's relation to operational complexity and effectiveness.

  • Captures design features that favor operational, recurring launch, "-ilities".

  • Does not address organizational design, as inputs or drivers (efficiency, process, practices, acquisition approach, supply chain management, best practices or business approaches).

Papers & Presentations:

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Website Contact: Edgar Zapata, NASA Kennedy Space Center